With some of his esteemed peers flocking to genre films in recent years — Liam Neeson in the “Taken” films, and Brad Pitt in next year’s “World War Z” — it seems Sean Penn has decided to do an action film of his own with “Prone Gunman.”
The film, an adaptation of the Jean-Patrick Manchette novel, will follow Penn as “an international operative named Martin Terrier who is betrayed by the organization he works for and must go on the run in a relentless game of cat-and-mouse across Europe.” Uh, Jason Bourne much? Although the premise on its face seems hackneyed, the choice of source material points to higher aspirations. Manchette was highly regarded in his day as the author of many existentialist crime novels that have been compared favorably to the films of Jean-Pierre Melville. And a few of them were adapted for TV and film, including "Prone Gunman," which made it to the big screen in a forgotten 1982 movie titled "Le Choc," starring Alain Delon and Catherine Deneuve (trailer below).
Penn has a few things on the horizon, including his appearance in January's “Gangster Squad” and a couple of directorial outings such as “Crazy For The Storm” and "The Comedian," and has been linked to Alejandro González Iñárritu's brewing "The Flim-Flam Man." However, no word on where these fit into his schedule. But, could "Prone Gunman" be the start of a franchise for Penn, his very own “Taken?” Peter Travis has been tapped to write the screenplay, and the hunt is on for a director. [THR]